Log In / Join Now

Ask Dr. Vinny

Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...

Dear Dr. Vinny,

I'm leaving town for a month. Is it better to leave a red wine out for that long at room temperature (about 75° F), or should I put it in the refrigerator?

—John, Boston

Dear John,

If pressed to choose between a constant, warm temperature and a too-cold and possibly not-humid-enough environment, I’d probably pick the refrigerator. As I’ve explained before, refrigerators are not a good idea for long-term storage, but for short-term storage, they're basically fine. I have a bottle in my own right now that I plan to drink soon.

Heat is a concern because it can cause bottles to leak or the flavors to become cooked, especially with wines sealed under cork. But if this scenario is coming up regularly, you might want to consider investing in even a small wine cooler to protect your wines.

—Dr. Vinny

Wine Basics

We break down the basics—how to taste, serve, store and more. Plus:
» Maps of major wine regions
» Grape variety characteristics

How-to Videos

Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more

Wine Spectator School: All courses are FREE for WineSpectator.com Members

Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.

Browse our course catalog
Check out the professional wine sales and service courses
Learn Wine Forum: Got questions? Get answers

WineRatings+ app: Download now for 340,000+ ratings.